Skip links

    Charcoal: hot or cold?

    Day 151

    Staying Cool

    Changemakers are always on the lookout! They’re looking for problems and things that need fixing in their own community, BUT they’re also always looking elsewhere and thinking about how solutions from different places and situations can be borrowed and adapted to make change.

    We’re spending our last day in Nakivale (for now) with Yesero – one of those changemakers who always has his eyes open. Yesero works on the Kuja Kuja team, but when he heard about some issues that ARC’s greenhouse project was struggling with it made him think.

    ARC’s greenhouse project helps Nakivale residents – particularly women-headed households and vulnerable individuals – grow some food for themselves and to sell in the market. “The time comes when they harvest a lot of vegetables,” Yesero explained to us. “But the produce goes rotten in just 2-3 days. It’s not enough time for them to sell or eat it all.”

    Yesero got to thinking about some women he had met in Kenya who were growing French beans. They used a charcoal refrigerator to extend the shelflife of their beans after they’d been picked. And their beans lasted 10-14 days and gave them much greater opportunity to sell and eat more of their harvest.

    So, on Day 151, Yesero got to work on a prototype of timber, nails chicken wire mesh, juut cloth and charcoal. The fridge works by kinetic energy. Yesero trickles water directly onto the charcoal on all four sides of the fridge(it’s important to keep it always wet, but not too wet) – as the wind blows through it cools whatever is inside.

    When we arrived to see the prototype, Yesero had already tested it overnight with some vegetables and a bucket of water. “Feel it. The water is very cool.” And he’s already thinking about how to iterate on his design – a bigger fridge, a design using more locally available materials, adding plastic tubing to automate the process… we can’t wait to see what Yesero does next!

    This change made possible by Cresa.

    [easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=1 counter_pos="hidden" total_counter_pos="leftbig" style="button" point_type="simple" url="" text="Staying Cool"]

    Changemakers 365

    by Alight


    The world’s tough problems can seem insurmountable. So at Alight, while we tackle those big problems we also do what’s doable. Right then. And that’s what Changemakers 365 is all about. Learn more!


    Changemakers 365 members give either $30 per month or a one-time gift of $365 (it’s free for anyone who has ever lived in a refugee camp). Join us!

    Let's Connect!